“At the beginning, I was not a fan of him, I didn’t work well with him. I knew Benni from Belgium, he was an assistant coach at one team there when I was playing that side.”
These are the words uttered by Foolad FC left-winger Ayanda Patosi, who has revealed that he was big-headed and arrogant while at Cape Town City before the legendary Benni McCarthy opened his eyes, assisting him ‘become a better player’.
After spending seven years playing in Belgium in the colours of KSC Lokerens, Patosi returned to South Africa in 2017 to join City under the leadership of McCarthy at the time and the midfielder admits that his attitude was wide of the mark as he undermined the standards of the Premier Soccer League (PSL), thinking it would be a walk in the park.
“So we came together at Cape Town City, I thought everything would be fine and on my side, I thought the PSL would be easy, so I didn’t do as much and didn’t work as much to give him (McCarthy) the confidence that he has for a player that he can believe and trust in and that is going to win games for the team,” said Patosi in a Zoom press conference of the SA Football Journalists’ Association (SAFJA).
“I did my own things on the side because I was coming from Belgium after seven years to Cape Town and I was not focused on football, I started to be with friends and I didn’t realise that Benni was doing these things to help me become a better player.
According to the 27-year-old midfielder, McCarthy and City boss, John Comitis took action when they picked up that his career was going down the plughole with his ‘attitude’.
“At some point, I realised that I was wrong and I sat back and spoke to Benni and Mr John (Comitis) and I realised that I was not in Cape Town for holidays, I can not just do what I want and expect to perform well on the field,” added Patosi.
“At the end, we were fine and we worked together very well. He is a coach who does not care if you are a star or a big player, he treats everyone the same.
“He helped young players like Seedat (Ebrahim) and me,” concluded Patosi.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi